© Reuters/Dylan Martinez
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon • Scottish campaigners at a 'yes' rally in Glasgow.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has revealed she intends to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence by the end of May 2021, insisting it's the route to safeguard against the damaging effects of Brexit.

Sturgeon told lawmakers in Edinburgh on Wednesday that a follow-up vote to the 2014 referendum should be offered to the people of Scotland if her nation is taken out of the EU.
"If Scotland is taken out of the EU, the option of a referendum on independence within that time scale must be open to us. That would be our route to avoiding the worst of the damage Brexit will do."
Signaling the seriousness of her plans, Sturgeon promised to bring forward legislation later this year to pave the way for a second referendum that she wants to be held "in the lifetime" of the current Scottish Parliament - due to end in May 2021. "The case for independence is even stronger now given the profound changes that have taken place in the UK since 2014."

Sturgeon argued that Brexit has exposed "the deep democratic deficit" in the way Scotland is governed and its interests have been "disregarded time and time again" by those in power in Westminster.

UK PM Theresa May has consistently said she will not agree to another independence poll, but Sturgeon claims such a position "will prove to be unsustainable."

In September 2014, Scots voted 55 to 45 percent to reject splitting Scotland from the United Kingdom.